Sunday, May 26, 2013
There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him.
After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn.
He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded.
Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance.
The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.”
So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.
The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”
A peaceful mind can think better than a worked up mind. Allow a few minutes of silence to your mind every day, and see, how sharply it helps you to set your life the way you expect it to be!
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. And all she had to cling to was her husband, Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
“Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
“Who was that man?” he asked.
The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied.
“I never saw him before in my life.”
“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”
“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”
One day, a young guy and a young girl fell in love.
But the guy came from a poor family. The girl’s parents weren’t too happy.
So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughter’s hand.
But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, “Will you marry me?” She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.
But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision.
When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.
She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. “Yesterday, I was beautiful. Today, I’m a monster.” Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.
Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancé from their promise. She knew he wouldn’t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.
For one year, the soldier wrote many letters—but she wouldn’t answer. He phoned her many times but she wouldn’t return her calls.
But after one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, “He’s back from the war.”
The girl shouted, “No! Please don’t tell him about me. Don’t tell him I’m here!”
The mother said, “He’s getting married,” and handed her a wedding invitation.
The girl’s heart sank. She knew she still loved him—but she had to forget him now.
With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.
And then she saw her name on it!
Confused, she asked, “What is this?”
That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, “Will you marry me?”
The girl covered her face with her hands and said, “I’m ugly!”
The man said, “Without your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. You’re still the person I fell in love. You’re still as beautiful as ever. Because I love you!”
Horror gripped the heart of the World War I soldier as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head, the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the “no man’s land” between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back.
“You can go,” said the lieutenant, “but i don’t think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your life away.” The lieutenant’s advice didn’t matter, and the soldier went anyway. Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder and bring him back to their company’s trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, and then looked kindly at his friend.
“I told you it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said. “Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded.”
“It was worth it, though, sir,” said the soldier.
“What do you mean; worth it?” responded the Lieutenant. “Your friend is dead.”
“Yes, Sir” the private answered. “But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive and I had the satisfaction of hearing him saying, “Jim…, I knew you’d come.”
Many times in life, whether a thing is worth doing or not, really depends on how u looks at it. Take up all your courage and do something your heart tells you to do so that you may not regret not doing it later in your life. May each and every one of you be blessed with the company of TRUE FRIENDS. A true friend is one who walks in, when the rest of the world walks out. War doesn’t determine who’s right. War only determines who’s left.
A smile costs nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.
It takes a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it.A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone, until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile;
Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be – a roommate, a neighbor, a professor, a friend, a lover, or even a complete stranger – but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.
Sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.
Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved straight flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are sometimes the most important ones.
If someone loves you, give love back to them in whatever way you can, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.
If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.
If you are into financial investment, you’re probably very familiar with Mr. Warren Buffet (1951–present). He is the most successful investor in the world. His investment strategies are legendary and many people seek to learn after him.
Even more respectable, he pledged to give away 99% of his wealth (more than $30 billions at the time of the pledge in 2006) to non-profit foundations, mostly to Bill Gate’s Foundation.
Mr. Buffet often travels to universities to give speeches to educate and motivate students. Here is one of his speeches to teach us the value of our body, to invest in ourselves, in education for a great future.
Imagine that a Genie offers you any car in the world. The catch is that it is the only car you will ever own. What would you do?
You would read the manual ten times, change the oil twice as often as required, and you would take fastidious care so that that car remained the car of your dreams forever.
Think about what this tells you about your body.
You get only one mind and one body–the same ones you will have at 20, 40, 60, etc.
Take care of them and maximize their potential. It will be too late to take care of your body and mind (and car) later on. You can maintain them, but it is hard or impossible to undo big mistakes or negligence later on. You do not want to end up with a wreck on your hands.
Your main asset in life is yourself.
Treat yourself as a valuable asset. I often explain to students that I would be willing to pay today for a percentage of the future earnings of good students.
If you value yourself, and invest in yourself, you will be worth a great deal through out your lifetime, both to yourself and to your community.
Author: Warren Buffet
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
And we could never fly.
Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles.
Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. They arrived at Bill’s home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.
Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life.”
-John W. Schlatter (true story)
One night a man came to our house and told me, “There is a family with eight children. They have not eaten for days,” I took some food and I went. When I finally came to the family, I saw the faces of those little children disfigured by hunger. There was no sorrow or sadness in their faces, just the deep pain of hunger. I gave the rice to the mother. She divided it in two, and went out, carrying half the rice with her. When she came back, I asked her, “Where did you go?” She gave me this simple answer, “To my neighbors-they are hungry also.”
I was not surprised that she gave–because poor people are generous. But I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves we have no time for others.
Once a fisherman was sitting near seashore, under the shadow of a tree smoking his beedi. Suddenly a rich businessman passing by approached him and enquired as to why he was sitting under a tree smoking and not working. To this the poor fisherman replied that he had caught enough fishes for the day.
Hearing this the rich man got angry and said: Why don’t you catch more fishes instead of sitting in shadow wasting your time?
Fisherman asked: What would I do by catching more fishes?
Businessman: You could catch more fishes, sell them and earn more money, and buy a bigger boat.
Fisherman: What would I do then?
Businessman: You could go fishing in deep waters and catch even more fishes and earn even more money.
Fisherman: What would I do then?
Wonder if any of you ever had the feeling that life is bad, real bad,…and you wish you were in another situation. Do you find that life seems to make things difficult for you, work sucks, life sucks, everything seems to go wrong….
It was not until yesterday that I totally changed my views about life; after a conversation with one of my friends.
He told me despite taking 2 jobs, and bringing back barely above 1K per month, he is happy as he is. I wonder how he can be as happy as he is now, considering that he has to skimp his life with the low pay to support a pair of old-age parents, in-laws, wife, 2 daughters and the many bills of a household.
He explained that it was through one incident that he saw in India……
That happened a few years ago when he was really feeling low and was touring India after a major setback. He said that right in front of his very eyes, he saw an Indian mother chopped off her child’s right hand with a chopper. The helplessness in the mother’s eyes, the scream of the pain from the innocent 4 years old child haunted him until today. You may ask why did the mother do so, has the child been naughty, was the child’s hand infected??
Consumed by my loss, I didn’t notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend — my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, I found it hard to breathe at times.
Always supportive, mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father’s death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life.
When mother’s illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her. I counted it an honor.
“What now, Lord?” I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before meas an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife’s hand.
My sister sat slumped against her husband’s shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished and I was alone.
I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears.
He began to sniffle. ”I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary. After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, “Why do they keep calling Mary by the name of ‘Margaret’?”
“Oh” “Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her ‘Mary,’ I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn’t have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?
“No, that isn’t correct,” he insisted, as several people glanced over at us whispering, “Her name is Mary, Mary Peters.”
“That isn’t who this is, I replied..”
“Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”
“No, the Lutheran church is across the street.”
“I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, Sir.”
The solemnness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter.
I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs.
The creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me.He was laughing, too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.
I imagined mother laughing.
At the final “Amen,” we darted out a door and into the parking lot. “I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt’s funeral, asked me out for a cup of coffee.
Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.
He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said,”Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.
It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
One day, a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad.”
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yeah,” said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless.
Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”
Chuan and Jing joined a wholesale company together just after graduation. Both worked very hard.
After several years, the boss promoted Jing to sales executive but Chuan remained a sales rep. One day Chuan could not take it anymore, tender resignation to the boss and complained the boss did not value hard working staff, but only promoted those who flattered him.
The boss knew that Chuan worked very hard for the years, but in order to help Chuan realize the difference between him and Jing, the boss asked Chuan to do the following. Go and find out anyone selling water melon in the market? Chuan returned and said yes. The boss asked how much per kg? Chuan went back to the market to ask and returned to inform boss the $12 per kg.
Boss told Chuan, I will ask Jing the same question? Jing went, returned and said, boss, only one person selling water melon. $12 per kg, $100 for 10 kg, he has inventory of 340 melons. On the table 58 melons, every melon weighs about 15 kg, bought from the South two days ago, they are fresh and red, good quality.
Chuan was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Jing. He decided not to resign but to learn from Jing.
My dear friends, a more successful person is more observant, think more and understand in depth. For the same matter, a more successful person sees several years ahead, while you see only tomorrow. The difference between a year and a day is 365 times, how could you win?
Think! how far have you seen ahead in your life? How thoughtful in depth are you?
Here we are, afraid of losing what we have all the time, holding on to it so tight that not a soul can touch it. We think by hiding it from the world, it’s hidden and it’s ours. Nothing is. Nothing ever will be. For, nothing ever was.
If you think there is anything that you have, that’s yours, be it money, a house, a job, or a girlfriend… it’s nothing but an illusion. It’ll all disappear… in one blow. One blow, my man.
Here we are, so insecure that we are afraid of re-starting our lives, so we just carry on trying to sort out the current mess. The thought that we should give it all up and just start all over – with nothing – might cross our minds some time, sure, but we get scared and we push away anything that scares us.
There is nothing I can ever achieve or gain that I cannot lose, in a matter of seconds. You have never gained enough to not be able to lose it all, in just a few minutes. What you think is yours, was never yours and will never be yours. Whatever you make here, you leave here. You came naked and you’re going to go back naked.
So what are you afraid of?
Let all be lost. Let them take away everything. As long as you have your heart beating strong, as long as you have your nostrils working fine, as long as the blood flows in your veins, you will live, you will breathe and you can get it all back… again and again. For, if you can do it once, you can damn well do it again. It’s just a game we play – Life.
By Rohit Wadhwaney
A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.
That afternoon of March 10,1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to Danae Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs. I don’t think she’s going to make it, he said, as kindly as he could. “There’s only a 10 percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.” Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. “No! No!” was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.
Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter’s chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers, ‘I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn’t listen, I couldn’t listen. I said, “No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don’t care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!”
As if willed to live by Diana’s determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae’s under-developed nervous system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.
But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.
Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.
One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin’s baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, “Do you smell that?” Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain.” Danae closed her eyes and again asked, “Do you smell that?” Once again, her mother replied, “Yes, I think we’re about to get wet, it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, “No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.” Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children.
Before the rains came, her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
This is a real story.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us each together.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Abraham Lincoln never quits.
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the United States history.
Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818 His mother died.
1831 Failed in business.
1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860 Elected president of the United States.
There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be.
That’s when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.
So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.
Keep Believing in Yourself!
It had been a very long night. Our black cocker spaniel ‘Precious’ was having a difficult delivery. I lay on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting, just in case I had to rush her to the veterinarian.
After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first-born was black and white. The second and third puppies were tan and brown in color. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. “One, two, three, four, five,” I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake my wife, Judy, and tell her that everything was fine.
As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying to nurse on the mother. Precious immediately pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group. She refused to recognize it as a member of her family.
A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them.
She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?”, they asked.
“No”, she said. “He’s out.”
“Then we cannot come in”, they replied. In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.
“Go tell them I am home and invite them in!” The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a House together,” they replied.
“Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!!”, he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!”
His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?”
Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”
“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”
The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?”
The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
Think what a remarkable, unduplicatable, and miraculous thing it is to be you! Of all the people who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not ONE of them is like YOU!
No one who has ever lived or is to come has had your combination of abilities, talents, appearance, friends, acquaintances, burdens, sorrows and opportunities.
No one’s hair grows exactly the way yours does. No one’s finger prints are like yours. No one has the same combination of secret inside jokes and family expressions that you know.
The few people who laugh at all the same things you do, don’t sneeze the way you do. No one prays about exactly the same concerns as you do. No one is loved by the same combination of people that love you – NO ONE!
No one before, no one to come. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE!
As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.
The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the return address. I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline–1924. The letter had been written almost 60 years ago.
It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a “Dear John” letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could not see him anymore because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him.
It was signed, Hannah.
It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.
“Operator,” I began, “this is an unusual request. I’m trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?”
She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, “Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can’t give you the number.” She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me.
I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the line. “I have a party who will speak with you.”
I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, “Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!”
“Would you know where that family could be located now?” I asked.
“I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,” the woman said. “Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter.”
She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living.
I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.
This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?
Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, “Yes, Hannah is staying with us.”
Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her. “Well,” he said hesitatingly, “if you want to take a chance, she might be in the day room watching television.”
I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.
She was a sweet, silver-haired oldtimer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye. I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, “Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael.”
She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said softly, “I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.”
“Yes,” she continued. “Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often. And,” she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, “tell him I still love him. You know,” she said smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, “I never did marry. I guess no one ever matched up to Michael…”
I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, “Was the old lady able to help you?”
I told him she had given me a lead. “At least I have a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.”
I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere with that bright red lacing. He’s always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at least three times.”
“Who’s Mr. Goldstein?” I asked as my hand began to shake.
“He’s one of the oldtimers on the 8th floor. That’s Mike Goldstein’s wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks.” I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse’s office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.
On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, “I think he’s still in the day room. He likes to read at night. He’s a darling old man.”
We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, “Oh, it is missing!”
“This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?”
I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, “Yes, that’s it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.”
“No, thank you,” I said. “But I have to tell you something. I read the letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet.”
The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. “You read that letter?”
“Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.”
He suddenly grew pale. “Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,” he begged.
“She’s fine…just as pretty as when you knew her.” I said softly.
The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, “Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow.” He grabbed my hand and said, “You know something, Mister? I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I’ve always loved her.”
“Mr. Goldstein,” I said, “Come with me.”
We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her.
“Hannah,” she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in the doorway. “Do you know this man?”
She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, “Hannah, it’s Michael. Do you remember me?”
She gasped, “Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!” He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.
“See,” I said. “See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
Maturity is many things. It is the ability to base a judgment on the big picture, the long haul.
It means being able to resist the urge for immediate gratification and opt for the course of action that will pay off later.
One of the characteristics of the young is “I want it now.”
Grown-up people can wait.
Maturity is perseverance–the ability to sweat out a project or a situation, in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks, and stick with it until it is finished.
The adult who is constantly changing friends and changing mates is immature. He/she cannot stick it out because he/she has not grown up.
Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. The mature person can face unpleasantness,
Hi! How are you?” The woman smiled as she took the seat beside me. She had to lower herself slowly, squeezing her ample bottom into the seat, filling all available space.
Positioning herself comfortably, she plopped her enormous arm on our common armrest. Her immensity saturated the space around us, shrinking me and my seat into insignificance.
I cringed and reclined towards the window.
She leaned towards me and repeated her greeting in an upbeat, friendly voice. Her face towered above my head, forcing me to turn to look at her. “Hi,” I replied with obvious loathing.
I turned away to stare out the cabin window, sulking silently about the long hours of discomfort I was going to experience with this monster beside me.
She nudged me with her meaty arm. “My name is Laura. I’m from Britain. How about you? Japan?”
“Malaysia,” I barked.
“I’m so sorry! Will you accept my heartfelt apology? Come, shake my hand. If we’re going to spend six hours side-by-side on this flight, we’d better be friends, don’t you think?” A palm waved in front of my face. I shook the hand reluctantly, still silent.
Laura started a conversation with me, taking no notice of my unfriendly reactions. She talked excitedly about herself and her trip to Hong Kong to see her frinds. She rattled off a list of things she was going to buy for her students in the boarding school where she was teaching.
I gave her one-word answers to her questions about me. Unperturbed by my coldness, she nodded as she made appreciative comments to my answers. Her voice was warm and caring. She was considerate and obliging when we were served drinks and meals, making sure that I had room to manoeuvre in my seat. “I don’t want to clobber you with my elephant size!” she said with utmost sincerity.
To my surprise, her face which repulsed me hours before, now opened into extraordinary smiles, lively and calm at the same time. I couldn’t help but let down my guard slowly.
Laura was an interesting conversationalist. She was well read in many subjects from philosophy to science. She turned a seemingly unimportant subject into something to explore and understand. Her comments were humorous and inspirational. When our topic turned to cultures, I was pleasantly surprised by her intelligent comments and well-thought-out analysis.
During our conversation, Laura managed to make every cabin crew who served us walk away laughing at her jokes.
When a flight attendant was clearing our plates, Laura cracked several jokes about her size. The flight attendant roared with laughter as she grabbed Laura’s hand, “You really make my day!”
For the next few minutes, Laura listened attentively and gave pointers to the flight attendant’s weight problem. The grateful attendant said before she rushed off, “I’ve got to work. I’ll come back later and talk to you about it.”
I asked Laura, “‘Have you ever thought about losing some weight?”
“No. I’ve worked hard to get this way. Why would I want to give it up?”
“You aren’t worried about cardiovascular diseases that come with being overweight?”
“Not at all. You only get the diseases if you’re worried about your weight all the time. You see advertisements from slimming centres that say, ‘Liberate yourself from your extra baggage so that you are free to be yourself.’ It’s rubbish! You’re liberated only if you’re comfortable about who you are, and what you look like any time of the day and anytime of the year! Why would I want to waste my time on slimming regimes when I have so many other important things to do and so many people to be friends with? I eat healthily and walk regularly; I’m this size because I am born to be big! There is more to life than worrying about weight all day long.”
She sipped at her wine. “Besides, God gives me so much happiness that I need a bigger body to hold all of it! Why would I lose weight to lose my happiness?” Taken aback by her reasoning, I chuckled.
Laura continued. “Folks often see me as a fat lady with big bosoms, big thighs and a big bottom that no man would even bother to cast a glance at. They see me as a slob. They think I’m lazy and have no willpower. They’re wrong.” She held up her glass to a passing flight attendant. “More of this magnificent wine, please.” She smiled sweetly at the attendant. “Great service from your crew. May God bless all of you.”
She turned to me, “I’m actually a slim person inside. I’m so full of energy that people won’t be able to keep up with me. This extra flesh is here to slow me down, otherwise I’ll be running everywhere chasing after men!”
“Do men chase after you?” I asked jokingly.
“Of course they do. I’m happily married but men still keep proposing to me.
“Most of them have relationship problems and they need someone to confide in. For some reason, they like to talk to me. I think I should have been a counsellor instead of a school teacher!”
Laura paused before she said thoughtfully, “You know, the relationship between men and women is so complicated. Women worship men and call them, ‘Honey’ until they find out they have been lied to, and then they turn into bitter gourds! Men love women so much that they see them as their soul mates until they look at their credit card bills, and then women become devils with tridents!”
Laura’s enthralling conversation had turned the flight into something thoroughly enjoyable. I was also fascinated by the way people were drawn to her. By the end of the flight, almost half the cabin crew was standing near the aisle by us, laughing and joking with Laura. The passengers around us joined in the merry-making too. Laura was the centre of attention, filling the cabin with delightful warmth.
When we waved goodbye to each other at the arrival lounge at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, I watched her walking towards a big group of adoring adults and kids. Cheers sounded as the group hugged and kissed Laura. She turned around and winked at me.
I was stunned, as the realisation set in: Laura was the most beautiful woman I had ever met in my life.
By Chong Sheau Ching